First 'green' county fire station unveiled


Published: Wednesday, January 28, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 27, 2009 at 11:24 p.m.

Amid cheers and violin music, Alachua County officially unveiled its first "green" fire rescue station Tuesday.

Fire Rescue Station 10, located at 930 SE 5th St., is part of the county's plan to design and construct "green, high-performance, sustainable buildings," according to the Alachua County Facilities Manager Charlie Jackson.

"We're finding that green-building is good for the bottom line ... It makes good business sense to build green," he said.

The 5,521-square-foot facility contains several water-conserving features, including waterless urinals, dual flush toilets and low-flow shower heads and faucets.

"Water is going to be a premium in the future," Jackson said of the county's interest in water conservation.

The waterless urinals alone will save 7,500 gallons of water a year, according to the county.

A 1,600-gallon tank for harvesting rain water was constructed for irrigation of the site.

The station is also home to an energy-efficient heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) unit that will save 20 percent of the site's annual energy cost, according to county officials.

Jackson also said the fire rescue station is a "sustainable site," in that it contains room for bicycle storage and is on an RTS bus route.

"It connects with the neighborhood," Jackson said.

Ryan Lowery, a rescue lieutenant for Alachua County Fire Rescue, expressed excitement for the facility. Lowery and the rest of Rescue Unit 10 had been housed in temporary facilities during 2008.

"It was very cramped," he said. "We were basically in an office."

Lowery said he is looking forward to having a washer and dryer available, as well as a dinner table.

"It's going to be a very nice change," he said.

Fire Rescue Chief Ed Bailey anticipates no concerns arising from the new facility.

He said the construction of Fire Rescue Station 10 is "good for the community and good for the environment."

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